Is CBD An Option for Relief from PMS Symptoms?

 

Just as every woman is unique, so is their experience with premenstrual syndrome (PMS), physical and emotional changes during menstruation. PMS affects up to 75 percent of menstruating women.[1] Common symptoms are depression, moodiness, cramping and bloating, muscle aches, fatigue, and breast tenderness. What causes these symptoms are not clear, but most studies suggest it results from hormonal changes during the menstrual cycle.

 

Since there is no one symptom of PMS, there is no one remedy for the problem. Several supplements are sold over the counter that claims to cure or reduce PMS symptoms, but many of these still need additional research to prove their efficacy.[2]  There are, however, some supplements that have been tested in studies and clinical trials and indicate some help in alleviating PMS symptoms. Among them are:  

Calcium: A clinical trial found that calcium supplements have been found to help reduce mood disorders associated with PMS.[3]

Magnesium plus vitamin B6: A study found magnesium plus vitamin B6 was an effective and affordable PMS treatment.[4]

Gingko Biloba: A clinical trial found that it can reduce the severity of some PMS symptoms. The participants took Gingko Biloba tablets containing 40 mg leaf extracts three times a day from the 16th day of the menstrual cycle to the 5th day of the next cycle.[5]

 

CBD Relief for PMS Symptoms

In seeking a natural ingredient to help relieve PMS symptoms, many women also are turning to CBD. That’s because research has indicated CBD may be effective in treating many of the most common symptoms associated with PMS. Here’s how:

 

Anxiety

While more research is needed on CBD and anxiety, a 2011 study found that CBD could reduce Social Anxiety Disorder (SAD). This preliminary study aimed to compare the effects of a simulation public speaking test (SPST) on healthy control patients and treatment-naïve SAD patients who received a single dose of CBD or placebo. Pretreatment with CBD significantly reduced anxiety, cognitive impairment, and discomfort in control patients' speech performance and significantly decreased alert levels in their anticipatory speech. The placebo group presented higher anxiety, cognitive impairment, discomfort, and alert levels than the control group.[6] Another clinical study determined that CBD helped improve sleep and/or anxiety in a clinical population during the first month of treatment. [7]

 

 

Mood fluctuations

The benefit of CBD for anxiety and other mood disorders is attributed to several of its qualities, including its impact on relieving pain and aiding sleep, both of which can contribute to changes in mood. Low serotonin levels are likely connected to depression. CBD doesn’t necessarily boost serotonin levels, but it may affect how your brain’s chemical receptors respond to the serotonin that’s already in your system. A 2014 study found that CBD’s effect on these receptors in the brain had an antidepressant and anti-anxiety effect.[8]

 

Fatigue

Besides helping to promote quality sleep and alleviating pain and anxiety, which can cause mood changes, research indicates other ways that CBD may help increase energy. CBD also may help you feel energized by activating certain areas of the brain. One study found that CBD modulates waking via activation of waking-related brain areas such as the hypothalamus and dorsal raphe nucleus (DRD). Both regions are involved in the generation of alertness. Also, CBD increases dopamine (reward stimulus) levels. High levels of dopamine tend to enhance concentration, boost mood and have a pro-social effect.[9]

 

Insomnia

Some research on CBD and sleep indicates that CBD may interact with specific receptors in the endocannabinoid system to affect the sleep/wake cycle potentially.  Furthermore, by reducing the symptoms of pain and anxiety, should you have any, CBD may also contribute to a more restful sleep.

Muscle and Joint Pain

Research indicates that CBD has been effective in pain management. CBD has been shown to increase the body’s anandamide levels, a compound associated with regulating pain, reducing pain perception, and improving mood. CBD may also control inflammation in the brain and nervous system to benefit people experiencing pain and insomnia, and certain immune system responses.[10]

 

Cramps

The pain-relieving properties of CBD may help to relieve the muscle spams that cause painful cramps. [11]

 

Acne

CBD oil may help reduce various acne types due to its ability to adjust how the body creates sebum, the waxy, oily substance the skin makes. CBD oil also has anti-inflammatory properties.[12]

Just as no two women will have the same PMS symptoms, no two people will respond to CBD the same way. But there are good signs that CBD may help to relieve many of the common symptoms associated with a women’s “time of the month.”

 

Lab+Blends offers two tinctures that may help address the PMS: Dream Drops Nighttime Sleep Aid and Daily Dose Total Wellness Drops.

 

[1] Casper, Robert MD, Patient education: Premenstrual syndrome (PMS) and premenstrual dysphoric disorder (PMDD) (Beyond the Basics), February 12, 2019. https://www.uptodate.com/contents/premenstrual-syndrome-pms-and-premenstrual-dysphoric-disorder-pmdd-beyond-the-basics
[2] “What Supplements Help with PMS,” WedMD, Accessed January 14, 2021. https://www.webmd.com/women/pms/supplements-help-with-pms
[3] Shobeiri F, Araste FE, Ebrahimi R, Jenabi E, Nazari M. Effect of calcium on premenstrual syndrome: A double-blind randomized clinical trial. Obstet Gynecol Sci. 2017;60(1):100-105. doi:10.5468/ogs.2017.60.1.100. Accessed January 14, 2021. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5313351/
[4] Fathizadeh N, Ebrahimi E, Valiani M, Tavakoli N, Yar MH. Evaluating the effect of magnesium and magnesium plus vitamin B6 supplement on the severity of premenstrual syndrome. Iran J Nurs Midwifery Res. 2010;15(Suppl 1):401-405. Accessed January 14, 2021. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3208934/
[5] Giti Ozgoli, Elham Alsadat Selselei, Faraz Mojab, and Hamid Alavi Majd, The Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine, Aug 2009.845-851. http://doi.org/10.1089/acm.2008.0493
[6] Bergamaschi MM, Queiroz RH, Chagas MH, et al. Cannabidiol reduces the anxiety induced by simulated public speaking in treatment-naïve social phobia patients. Neuropsychopharmacology. 2011;36(6):1219‐1226. doi:10.1038/npp.2011.6. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/21307846/
[7] Shannon S, Lewis N, Lee H, Hughes S. Cannabidiol in anxiety and sleep: A large case series. Perm J 2019;23:18-041. DOI: https://doi.org/10.7812/TPP/18-041, Accessed January 14, 2021. http://www.thepermanentejournal.org/issues/2019/winter/6960-cannabis.html#ref
[8] Holland, Kimberly, “How to Try CBD for Depression,” Healthline, July 29, 2019. https://www.healthline.com/health/cbd-for-depression
[9] “High Dopamine Levels: Symptoms and Adverse Reactions,” Mental Health Daily, Accessed January 14, 2021, https://mentalhealthdaily.com/2015/04/01/high-dopamine-levels-symptoms-adverse-reactions/
[10] “Does CBD Work for Chronic Pain Management,” Medical News Today, accessed January 14, 2021. https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/319475
[11] Leaf Science Editorial Team, “Can CBD Help with PMS,” Leaf Science, January 12, 2018. https://www.leafscience.com/2018/01/12/can-cbd-help-pms/
[12] Johnson, Jon, “CBD for Acne, Does it Work,” Medical News Today, March 13, 2019. https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/324689

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